Netherlands suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Turkey in their opening World Cup qualifying match. Turkey veteran captain Burak Yilmaz netted a hat trick as Turkey saw off a late rally from the Netherlands to secure all 3 points from the fixture.
The defeat was a dreadful start to the campaign for the Netherlands, which failed to qualify for either Euro 2016 or the 2018 World Cup, but is one of the fancied sides ahead of the delayed Euro 2020 finals this year. Frank De Boer has had a tough start as Netherlands manager and has won just 2 of his 7 games in charge after taking on the job from Ronald Koeman.
Netherlands had failed to qualify for the last 2 major tournaments – EURO 2016 and World Cup 2018
Yilmaz opened the scoring in the 14th minute of the Group G match with a deflected shot followed by a penalty 20 minutes later at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium to put the Turks 2-0 up at half-time.
Turkey also made a great start to the second half, thanks to Italian giant AC Milan midfielder Hakan Çalhanoğlu’s long-range goal in the 46th minute. A Netherlands comeback was looking on the cards when they scored twice in 2 minutes to reduce the deficit to just 1 goal with 15 minutes still to be played.
Davy Klassen and Luuk De Jong scored in the 75th and 76th minutes respectively to lead a spirited Netherlands back into the tie. Klaassen’s goal was a touch of individual brilliance as he brought down a cross from Memphis Depay with a subtle touch, simultaneously turning two defenders to slam home from close range. De Jong swooped onto a dipping cross to get a touch for the second.
However, Burak Yılmaz had other ideas. He took the center stage once again in the 81st minute, slotting home an impeccable free kick to make 4-2 for the host and complete his hat-trick on the night.
To top off the night, goalkeeper Çakır pulled off an amazing save to deny Memphis Depay and the Netherlands from the spot, just before the end of the match.